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Balanced Diet And Carbohydrates Diet For Female Athletes

Athletes are exposed to a great deal of physical exertion and sometimes adverse environmental conditions like extreme temperatures. As such, they must eat a proper diet in order to keep fit and perform well.

Female athletes particularly require a highly regulated and balanced diet and supplemental nutrients to sustain their various body functions and their reproductive cycle. Female athletes are prone to several ailments which are referred to as “female athlete triad”. The triad can be illustrated as follows:

Disordered Eating Patterns: This refers to lack of sufficient nutrients in the diet. There are two common eating disorders in female athletes which are:

Aneroxia Nervosa: This ailment occurs when enough nutrition is not taken to maintain a healthy body weight.

Bulimia: This refers to overeating in one sitting and then regurgitating or vomiting.

Amenorrhea: This is a disastrous condition for women’s reproductive cycles.
It is characterized by the absence of menstrual periods for six months or longer. The ailment may be due to weight loss, disordered eating, and intense physical exercise or training.

Osteoporosis: This is a chronic condition in which the bones become weak. This leads to a weakening of the skeletal system of female athletes.

As female athletes are prone to a number of health troubles, they must follow a balanced and regulated diet.

Diet And Tips For Female Athletes

A diet for female athletes must include the following:
  • Female athletes must consume a lot of carbohydrates in order to gain sufficient calories for physical training and exertion. Rich sources of carbohydrates are potato, cereals, sugar, corn, soy products, and some dairy products.
  • On account of immense physical activity, female athletes need a lot of protein to replace the worn out cells and organelles. The foods rich in proteins include egg, soy milk, lean meat, yogurt peanut butter, nuts, lentils, beans, poultry, fish, and grains.
  • The diet of female athletes must contain some fats too. The foods that are good sources of fats are meat and dairy products.
  • Female athletes generally lose a lot of iron in menstruation and also sweating. As such, they must include foods rich in iron in their daily diet so as to make up for the loss of iron. The foods rich in iron are spinach, strawberry, banana, blueberry, tomato, watermelon, and skimmed milk.
  • Female athletes are also prone to calcium deficiency. The foods rich in calcium are milk, broccoli, red kidney beans, almonds, sesame seeds, chick peas, and turnip.

Submitted on January 16, 2014